The findings of the Panorama 2015 ERP report highlighted that 85% of respondents implemented ERP at two or more sites, with the largest percentage of respondents (28%) stating they implemented ERP at four to five sites. The annual survey also found that 55% of the 562 respondent organisations reported that they are multinational. With this in mind it is vital that ERP solutions not only understand the changes to the wider business landscape, but also support them.
The above findings highlight that multi-site ERP implementations are no longer an unusual occurrence. Manufacturing businesses are expanding, many overseas, and therefore the way their businesses now operate has shifted. Yet, while the reasons for overseas expansion are varied, and can include costs, availability of resources, off shoring, and access to skilled workforces, what remains consistent is the need for an ERP solution which offers seamless integration across all departments and sites – an ERP solution such as SYSPRO.
Of course while the objectives for multi-site integration are clear, there are a number of challenges manufacturing businesses encounter as a result of operating across multiple sites. In this blog post we’ll take a look at the top three challenges, before exploring how effective ERP implementation and integration can overcome them.
This challenge is a common one, and is often present in some form within every businesses, especially with those about to embark on the ERP implementation journey. But the issue of data accuracy becomes more prominent when you consider businesses operating across multiple sites. Businesses in multiple locations can stumble upon issues regarding the way that data is collected, how it is shared between different locations and crucially, how each department analyses said data.
Often, data collection processes are individual to departments across a business, with greater differences occurring when you consider wider geographical locations. As a result, these multiple data collection methods run the risk of being inconsistent, or containing errors, and in the worst cases, can even be rendered useless.
ERP integration across multiple sites can effectively overcome this challenge, ensuring all sites, including those found overseas, unify data collection, improving the accuracy and usability of data harvested through a centralised and integrated ERP solution. If everybody is using the same ERP system, and sharing standardised processes for accessing the data it holds, you can be sure that everyone in your organisation in benefitting from one version of the truth, regardless of where or how they are tapping into your business system.
In addition to variations in data collection, inconsistent business processes are also a major challenge which arises as a result of operating across multiple sites. In order to drive efficiencies and productivity across an entire business it is important that these processes become standardised.
Cross site ERP implementation plays a significant part in this standardisation, helping businesses regain the control to manage and oversee operational aspects of their business, from sales right through to the distribution process, laying the foundations for greater supply chain management.
SYSPRO’s extended execution and operational modules can help to standardise a number of key business processes, including invoicing, advanced warehouse management and inventory management. Through effective ERP implementation and adoption, and the standardisation of key business processes, multi-site organisations can optimise insight into their business, reducing both operational and supply chain costs.
Communication, or rather lack of it, can be a major barrier for any business, but throw in multiple site locations, language barriers and different time zones, and effective communication can become an issue.
Effective communication is key to enhancing decision-making, allowing businesses to respond more quickly to the demands of customers and suppliers as well as adjusting business plans to the needs of the wider economic climate.
ERP integration removes this headache. Together with standardisation, the automation of a number of key business processes ensures manufacturers are able to communicate information across the entire business in real-time, not only affording them complete transparency over operations, but also enabling accurate insight on business key performance indicators. In addition, SYSPRO seamlessly integrates with a number of third party applications to facilitate the flow of data across an organisation. These solutions enable growing companies to maximise the planning and management of business processes to better position themselves in their respective markets.
As more and more businesses are now operating across multiple sites, they are also seeking an ERP solution which can support this shift in the business model, ensuring that as businesses expand overseas it has the infrastructure in place to support key business functions, effectively meeting demand, while also underpinning future growth. Read more here on how our customer Dudson Ltd benefits from an integrated ERP system. SYSPRO ERP is used worldwide at locations in the UK, USA, Canada, France, Australia and Spain, and is helping the company to monitor sales activity and performance more efficiently. Resulting in time spent on order processing from 230 to 30 hours a month.